Toughie 2722 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2722

Toughie No 2722 by Gila

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

It has been a while since we had a crossword from Gila and I have to say that I was hoping for something a lot trickier than this one .

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Sting perhaps causes sailor great distress (4,4)
ROCK STAR Split this description of the lead singer of The Police 5,4 and you’ll get an informal way of saying causes great distress to a sailor

5a    One in three, possibly, or one of two (6)
EITHER I (one) inserted into an anagram (possibly) of THREE

9a    My property features open, extensive grounds at the back (8)
GOODNESS Some property or materials into which is inserted (features) the letters at the back of opeN extensivE groundS

10a    Coastal wind reportedly heading for Alpine mountain region (6)
SIERRA A homophone (reportedly) of some coastal wind followed by the ‘heading’ for Alpine

11a    Standard application process for higher education? (7)
UNIFORM Split 3,4, this standard might informally describe part of the application process for higher education

12a    Wine and tea leading to endless happiness (7)
CHABLIS Another word for tea and some happiness without its final letter (endless)

13a    Stop getting annoyed and putting people at risk! (11)
ENDANGERING A synonym for stop and part of a verb meaning getting annoyed

16a    Very different doctor patrols ward (6,5)
WORLDS APART An anagram (doctor) of PATROLS WARD

21a    Disagreeable din carrying over miles (7)
NOISOME A din ‘carrying’ the cricket abbreviation for Over and the abbreviation for Miles

22a    Gun with bolt and collection of buttons (7)
TOOLBAR A slang term for a gun and a bolt

23a    Hostile revolutionary, dismissive of leader and of non-professionals (6)
LAICAL A reversal (revolutionary) of an adjective meaning hostile without (dismissive of) its first letter (leader)

24a    Footwear for going out in? (8)
BEDSOCKS A cryptic definition of something to stop cold feet preventing you from dropping off to sleep

25a    Diamonds from a town somewhere in Africa (6)
DURBAN The abbreviation for Diamonds and an adjective meaning belonging to a town

26a    Supporters of Russian government in dire straits succeeded (8)
TSARISTS An anagram (dire) of STRAITS followed by the abbreviation for Succeeded


1d    Newspaper published meaty stuff (6)
RAGOUT A derogatory term for a newspaper and a synonym for published

2d    Firm that is checking approval for online tracking code (6)
COOKIE The abbreviations for company (firm) and ‘that is’ ‘checking’ or taking in an informal word of approval

3d    Reduced work in hospitals close to large American city (3,4)
SAN JOSE Insert the first two letters (reduced) of a piece of work into some abbreviated old hospitals and then add the ‘close’ to largE

4d    False ID criminal made man uses (7,4)
ASSUMED NAME An anagram (criminal) of MADE MAN USES

6d    Caricature of note housed by international gallery (7)
IMITATE The third note of the tonic sol-fa scale ‘housed’ or inserted between the abbreviation for International and an art gallery

7d    Goddess left daughter in charge of arms (8)
HERALDIC A Greek goddess, the abbreviations for Left and Daughter and the abbreviation for in charge

8d    Breaking rule, idiot is put in another job (8)
REASSIGN An idiot ‘breaking’ a synonym for rule

12d    Help for seeing name entered in detailed payment system (7,4)
CONTACT LENS Insert the abbreviation for Name into a payment system we seem to be using more and more these days without its final letter (detailed)

14d    Did turn in toboggan (8)
SWINDLED A verb meaning to turn inserted into a toboggan

15d    Smarter frame housing shower (8)
BRAINIER A frame for carrying a coffin to the grave ‘housing’ a shower

17d    Fashion designer regularly aims at creating a little scene (7)
DIORAMA  A fashion designer and the regular letters of AiMs At

18d    Take circuitous routes north of river (7)
TROUSER An anagram (circuitous) of ROUTES goes above (north of in a Down solution) the abbreviation for River to produce a slang term meaning to appropriate money

19d    Cooling system fitted in a vehicle for summer, once (6)
ABACUS An abbreviated cooling system ‘fitted’ between A (from the clue) and a vehicle

20d    Emergency care regularly needed on part of the Thames (6)
CRISIS The regular letters of CaRe and the part of the Thames which flows through Oxford


19 comments on “Toughie 2722

  1. As our blogger suggests, this was a reasonably straightforward but nonetheless, for me, an enjoyable Toughie. No obscurities, just fair clueing. I liked the surface of 16a, but 12d proved to be my favourite.

    My thanks to Gila and CS.

  2. A very pleasant puzzle with some well-disguised definitions though it’s not really a Toughie and could well have appeared on the back page. Thanks to Gila and CS.

    I’m not convinced that to caricature someone is the same as 6d.

    My podium consists of 1a, 11a and 2d.

    1. If this level of crossword appeared on the back page regularly I would bin the paper! I think crossword solving is a bit like everyone’s pallet, an infinite variety. I’ve completed some easily while others struggle and today is the other way round. Wavelength is the key, get it and the signal is clear, don’t and it’s just white noise!

  3. I didn’t find it as easy as some but, then again, I’m not as good. Still I managed it so I’m happy. Some really clever clues. Favourite was 12d. Thanks to Gila and CS.

  4. Very enjoyable all through. I do like a Gila puzzle. Just tough enough to grace the Toughie slot I thought. Thanks to CS for the review. Thanks to Gila for the puzzles the cookies and the Chablis. What a nice breakfast that was

  5. Well I found this tough enough for me and most enjoyable. The SE corner held me up as long as the rest of the grid did, but I did manage, finally (with a bit of electronic lift), to finish. Lots to admire here, especially 1a, 20d, and 23a. Thanks to CS and Gila.

  6. I liked it. Not too tough. I could do it all unaided except for 23a. 12d and 14d were my picks for todat.

  7. I’m never sure about this setter’s style but I did soldier on and fill the grid. Top three here were 1&11a plus 1d.

    Thanks to Gila and to CS for the review.

  8. I found the across clues hard to start, but the southern end yielded quite easily, as did the downs. The rest then fell into place in ** time.

    COTD was 13a with many thanks to Gila and CS.

  9. This was a strange puzzle. I was reduced to using Danword to opening up the NW corner with 1d from where on in I was able to finish the challenge However, I still have problems with quite a few answers. Since when, for instance, has 22a, “ toolbar” been a synonym for “gun”. ? I’m obviously missing something Bar for bolt? Really?
    I did like 24a. But felt 26a was sadly out of date.

      1. I’ve heard is called a “piece” but never a “tool”. We live and learn. It’s a bit like “to trouser” meaning “to steal”, that’s been in our crosswords quite a bit recently too.

  10. I’m in the JB, RC & TG camp in not finding this anywhere near the breeze that others clearly did. My excuse is that a tortuous day at hospital (60 mile round trip & exorbitant parking charges) hasn’t put me in the best of humour so that’ll be my excuse for the brain freeze. 4 in the SE were the main hold up. Once I’d clocked the gun & the right context of take it left the footwear & the summer once. Even after getting the latter & with the checker then realising it was socks I’m afraid it still took a while to twig what kind. Anyway an unaided finish & all parsed though 3d was a head scratch & agree with Gazza that 6d is tenuous at best.
    Enjoyed it & thought some of the surfaces cleverly misleading. 24a was my pick.
    Thanks to Gila & CS

    1. Sorry you had such an unsettling day, Huntsman. Even though I wear those 24a, I still could not come up with those footies! What’s wrong with my mind?! Guess I’ve never heard them called by that name. So obvious, though.

  11. Belatedly, having only finished this puzzle at about 5.15 this morning – although I was certainly not up all night trying to crack it! – I felt it to be worthy of its place in the Toughie column, and certainly not a gimme.

    Held up in the SE by 13d, my LOI (I really must remember the import of detailed and curtailed in a clue), and 22a – which I felt was particularly deep red and fish-like.


    Many thanks to Gila and to CS for the review and the couple of parsings I lacked.

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